Postgame: Power!

Whether you’ve chirped my musical choices before, the one above is perfectly suited for what we saw Wednesday night at the ‘Dome.  The Calgary Flames rode three powerplay goals to a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators in a game the home side wasn’t overly impressive, but they did more than enough to win the hockey game.  Three regulation losses in 21 games gets you back in the mix, and this team isn’t showing a ton of signs of slowing down.

What Happened

A relatively loosely played first period saw the Calgary Flames start their dominance on the powerplay…and not score.  An early Jarko Ruutu penalty got the Flames rolling, as they generated seven (7!!) shots on the man advantage, only to be turned aside by Ottawa’s Robin Lehner.  It was at even strength when the Flames opened the scoring, thanks to Tim Jackman who batted home his eighth of the season at 8:40.  The play started on a nice pass from Robyn Regehr to Niklas Hagman; his shot was eventually driven home by Jackman.  But the Sens would score 37 seconds later on a pretty nice shot by Chris Kelly catching Miikka Kiprusoff going the other way.  Ottawa would in fact take the lead at 10:21 when Chris Campoli fired home his third of the season from the left point, giving the Sens a one goal advantage heading into the break. Calgary was WAY down in the ES scoring chance count after 20, but getting eight powerplay chances makes things a little more even.

Calgary really reeled things back in for the entire second period, as they’d outchance the Sens and take the lead.  Olli Jokinen would tie the game on the powerplay at 13:42, getting his tenth on a weird play.  After taking a pass into the slot, Jokinen decided not to shoot, electing instead to find Curtis Glencross in the right circle who himself had a great scoring opportunity.  But, Glencross passed back to Jokinen who put it past Lehner, and bam, 2-2.  Ottawa would have zero push back after that, and Calgary would zone in, taking the lead on another odd play.  An Olli Jokinen flip in the neutral zone got past Matt Carkner as he was trying to field a ground ball.  The puck would go right to Curtis Glencross, and he ripped a no-doubter top shelf and the Flames took a 3-2 lead into the final frame.

Nothing in the third for the Sens, just a couple more for the Flames.  Anton Babchuk would hammer home a powerplay goal for number seven on the year at 8:36 and Tim Jackman would finish off a great night with a powerplay marker at 15:38.  Three powerplay goals for the first time this season, and the Flames win again.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames won?  That’s pretty easy tonight, it was the powerplay.  Calgary was actually outchanced at even strength, thanks to a pretty sloppy first period, but they were lethal and extremely dangerous a man up.  Kent had the Flames with 13 chances on the powerplay, and that sounds about right.  I know they were playing a bad, bad team but this was as impressive the powerplay has looked all year.

Red Warrior

Tim Jackman scored twice, extended his career high to nine goals, and went to work on the low end of the Senators forward depth.  He was physical, hard on the puck, smart and consistent in his 12:39 of ice time.  Nothing new here with Jackman, move along.

Sum It Up

Just win baby.  The Flames weren’t great at even strength in the first period, they tightened up in the final 40 minutes, and came away with another two points.  Calgary got almost no help from others tonight, with Anaheim, San Jose, Nashville, Phoenix, and Chicago all winning.  Oh well, it’s a push.  The Flames win, and whether they’re giving up games is immaterial at this point.  Just win.

  • icedawg_42

    What do you think, guys? Have we finally found that consistent and productive second line in the form of Olli and Glencross?

    If only Haggy and Borque would now step up to the plate, we may actually have 3 solid scoring lines when Tanguay gets back.

    Plus, I’ve heard now that Tangs doesn’t have a concussion but a neck strain. Sounds it may not be as bad as most of us thought earlier.

    Hopefully he’s back soon.

    • everton fc

      …Hagman, Stajan, and Borque would be a good 3rd line, playing against weak defensive pairings.

      …Glencross, Jokinen, and Moss have found some chemistry.

      …Kostopolus, Backlund, and Jackman are one of the best lines most nights.

      …Tanguay, Morrison, and Iginla also have good chemistry.

      …Everything is finally coming together.

      …Morrison’s shot block at the end of last nights game might not have been the smartest thing he has ever done, but it definately showed his commitment level to the system.

      • everton fc

        I’d keep Jackman on the third line. Hagman to the fourth line. Or maybe even Bourque. Who cares, at this point? Who cares what their salaries are?? We are in a playoff race. That type of stuff is out-the-window right now.

        If we can move Hagman, I’d do it. I’d sign Glencross. I’d consider moving Bourque, as well, though I think he’s a decent person, and would like to see him break his slump. That said, perhaps a change of scenery for both helps.

        As for Stajan… Keep him w/Jackman. I can see that working out quite nicely. And I hope it does….

        • everton fc

          …everyone slumps. Borque and Hagman are very streaky, but they score in bunches. I agree with you, salary is the responsibility of the GM, and the coaches responsibility is to play the best players the most, period.

          …Borque, Stajan, Jackman?

      • CitizenFlame

        I loved that block; showed a ton of commitment but not smarts considering the Flames were up 5-2 at that point.

        The way he reacted afterward was priceless. He laid there for a few seconds and looked like he wasn’t going to get up!

  • CitizenFlame

    Wow, Calgary really didn’t get any help on the out-of-town score board tonight. At least there wasn’t any 3 point games.

    It wasn’t pretty, but 2 points is 2 points and they keep on rolling. Nice to see a bunch of different contributors again.

    • icedawg_42

      No they sure didn’t did they. Thank’s spOilers! Thanks Canuckleheads – you’ve both proven I was right to think you’re losers!
      Anywhooo….early in the first you had to know the game would tighten up and that that would work in calgary’s favor, the only hope was that the Flames didnt dig too big a hole early on. Well, they did not, and the game tightened up, and that worked in their favor. Ok Flames, you’ve beaten a team you should have beaten, now you’re up against some stiff competition against the returned Getzlaf and his ducks – considerably tougher. Then a real yard stick with the Canucks. I’ll be very interested in the mood on Pat’s OT show if they lose one of both of these games. This streak has to end some time. (dont jump on me, I truly AM enjoying their success!)

  • Watched the first period then had to leave, but I figured it was done when Ottawa scored the quick goals.

    It’s great to see the Flames aren’t giving up when behind, and even better to see that Jackman isn’t just around to goon it up. I honestly hope that even if Ivanans is ever able to play that he doesn’t get put into the lineup. We don’t need a fighter, we just need heart. Jackman has that.

  • everton fc

    Ivanans has post-concussion issues, doesn’t he?

    I’d move either Hagman or Bourque. Preferably the former. Moving Hagman doesn’t upset the chemistry of the team. I get a sense Bourque is well-liked in the dressing room.

    I wouldn’t touch Glencross/Jokinen/Moss. To me, a perfect playoff line for a decent playoff run – WHEN we get there!

  • icedawg_42

    Remember how I said the playoff picture in the West could look dramatically different after last night?….well it looks NO different. – sigh. I should not make any more predictions or statements. I’m always wrong…wait a minute, “The Flames will NOT win the Stanley Cup”…..there.

    • CitizenFlame

      He needs to do something. No one is going to want him if he doesn’t break out of the slump soon. I think that if anyone were to come knockin’ it’ll be Glencross garnering all the interest.

      Does anyone else notice that Hagman skates like a cartoon character? His legs wind up and move 100 miles an hour, flailing all over the place but he barely goes anywhere. I’ve never seen a pro try so hard to accomplish nothing. I like Hagman and hope he breaks out soon, but if he doesn’t at least I giggle everytime I see him flailing around.

  • BobB

    Man, it’s great that if Connie had to, decided and was ready to move on to another challenge, that he’s upstairs with the Flames.

    Seeing the video after each goal, he is SO stoked, with the biggest smile EVER!

    It’s just great to see how much passion and enthusiasm he has for the game.

    He’s all class, and is an excellent guy to have on the team in any capacity.

      • BobB

        And somehow found himself to be a -1… If this was darryl’s team backlund would probably sit the next three games in the pressbox….

        On a side note, Bourque ended the night with a -1 as well.. Hopefully he can start putting it all together…

    • BobB

      That’s an artifact of the first few months of the season, unfortunately. Once he was moved down to the 4th line (Dec or Jan?), his TOI dropped to 5-10 min/game, averaging somewhere around 8 min at EV. He’s not getting any special teams time at all anymore, whereas he was at least getting PK time before (and doing quite well at it, I must say).

      I know Sutter doesn’t want to mess with a good thing, but this is pretty much mishandling a young player at this stage. I’m okay with him being on the 4th line, as long as the 4th line gets closer to 10 min/game or Backs gets a couple of extra shifts on the PP or with other lines. I really think it’s a mistake having his ice time in the single digits.

      • everton fc

        …I caught my mistake right after I saw the minutes he received last game (only 5 mins). I’d rather see him in Abbottsford than playing only 5 minutes. But if he can play around 10 like you said I’m fine with him being up here.

  • BobB

    It appears that the sellers have been able to get great returns thus far, Both Toronto, Ottawa and Chicago have received pretty one sided trades, does this mean teams are a bit more desperate in picking up that some extra pieces? Does this increase the value for Stajan or Hagman? Stajan for a 1st round pick anyone??

  • BobB

    Watching Bourque at the game last night he looked like he wanted to be somewhere else. Didn’t talk to anyone. Between whistles his shoulders were slumped, sauntering to the bench. No drive at all. And this from someone supposedly eager to get his game back.

    I think they need to give Backlund a shift or two with the big boys. He is outscoring Bourque since Jan 1 with a quarter the EV strength time and no PP time. He has 2-goals in 4-games (one playing with Iggy), and I think he is the best replacement for Tangs we have on the roster.

    This 5-minutes a night crap is getting old. WTF does he need to do to get more ice time? They have Kostopolous playing 10-minutes EV strength per night for crying out loud.

  • BobB

    If we could test out a few more AHLers before the deadline, and find a replacement defensemen, and 4th liner or two, we could potentially sell off staios, mikkelson or sarich, Hagman, without affecting our team chemistry… Although losing Hagman might make olli club someone in the head with his stick again. but that would be the only risk there…

    In return, we potentially don’t need any veteran guys, and could pick up picks for all of these guys. What do you guys think?